Are you stressing out about getting your family together for the holidays – with all the flying, driving and mixing of families? Well, imagine how much harder it is when your parents are in multiple relationships at the same time. That’s the reality I’ve been dealing with for 17 years.
Holidays should be times of festivities, traditions, relaxing, laughter, joy, reminiscing about the year that flew before our eyes, good food, and celebrating with family. However, being part of a polyamorous family during the holidays has been none of those things. It was stressful and uncomfortable because each of my parents have had other relationships outside of the triad inside their home. I am introverted, shy, and don’t take to new people easily. But year after year, my parents put me around people I had never met before.
Holidays were generally divided amongst mom’s partners and their families, dad’s partners and their families, and their girlfriend’s family, her partners, and their families. Sometimes relationships extended more outwardly, and we spent time with their metamour’s families, too. (By the way, a metamour is a word created to help people get their minds around the confusing relationships involved in polyamory. You can read more about it here.)
One would think by now, where the holidays will be spent would be squared away. In more traditional households, that’s true. Spending it with either set of in-laws, friends, or hosting it at home. It’s not that easy in my parents’ home. No two years have ever been the same.
I’ve tried to be understanding about my parents caring about their relationships with their partners’ families, but they don’t get that Partner A going to his/her grandma’s house every year is not a tradition hat has any emotional linkage to me. I don’t know “Grandma” Adele, and I don’t need to see her every year. They consider their partners’ respective families their in-laws. I don’t consider them my grandparents, cousins, uncles, nieces, nephews, or anything like that. I have real family in the world who want to see me, and every year I ended up around people who only felt compelled to be around me because their kid was dating my parents.